Salmon Gefilte Fish by Ric Orlando


Salmon Gefilte Fish with Beet Horseradish Wasabi Mustard Sauce by Ric Orlando

Gefilte fish is grandfather's food. They are the kind of dish that takes us back to simpler, and poorer, days.  Traditional gefilte fish is made from Carp. Carp is considered to be a garbage fish, but when it is all you have, you make do. We humans are very clever when we are hungry.
Scraping the meager remains of the meat off of the bones and the head of a Carp and cooking bones to make a gelatinous broth created a low cost and sustaining meal in times when there may not have been a Wal-Mart in the village.
In this dish, we have raised the bar by using wild salmon and have livened it up with the addition of lemongrass, ginger and scallions.
The recipe is passover friendly, but also real damned good! It is also can be made gluten free, if you're not too strict about the passover rules.

Makes 12 quenelles
1-quart fish stock for poaching
2 cups water
salt to taste
1 stick lemongrass
1 pound wild salmon meat, belly or collar trimming cleaned of excess fat or cartilage
1/2 finely diced onion
5-6 cilantro leaves
1 egg, separated
2 teaspoons salt
1-teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1/4-cup matzo meal, or substitute gluten free crumbs
¼ cup finely minced scallion


Put the stock, and water in a heavy, shallow pot. Add enough salt to season just enough to add a hint of saltiness;  not too much.
Smash the lemongrass with the back of a knife to release aroma.
Put the lemongrass in the pot and boil moderately for 20 minutes to infuse the lemony flavor into it. Remove the lemongrass and discard.
Hold the water at a gentle sparkle of a simmer.

Put the salmon, onion and egg yolk into a food processor, Start out with pulsing a few times to break up the salmon and then do longer pulses to make a  medium coarse grind. Scrape down the side and run another 10 seconds or so. Remove to a bowl.
With a fork, gently froth the egg white and add to the salmon. Add the rest of the ingredients and fold together carefully.
Using two tablespoons, form three sided Quenelles and gently slide them into the simmering water to poach. Do not boil..
After a few minutes  the quenelles begin to float, remove them  with a slotted spoon to a bowl or plastic container that will fit then all on one level. 
Pour the poaching liquid over the quenelles to cover them all the way. Refrigerate and the broth with gelatinize.
Served with beet horseradish sauce and wasabi mustard.

Notes on making quenelles:  Keep a cup of very cold water on hand and dip the spoons into it after forming each quenelle.  They will slide off better.
Also, gentle poaching with keep the fish from being grainy.



Wasabi Mustard Sauce
1 teaspoon grated fresh or frozen wasabi
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup strong dijon mustard

Mix all together and store covered until ready to use.

Beet Horseradish Sauce
Beet Horseradish sauce
 8             ounces  beets -- cooked
  1        tablespoons  shallots -- minced
  1        tablespoons  white vinegar
  1         teaspoons  kosher salt
  1          teaspoons  tabasco sauce
  1/4  cup          cups  horseradish -- fresh
     1/8          cup  mayonnaise
  1              cups  sour cream
     1/4           cup  fresh beet juice (optional)

Puree the beets, shallots, and vinegar (and optional beet juice) in a blender until it is silky smooth.  Fold in additional ingredients.